You've Gotta Hear this One Song, It'll Change Your Life I Swear
August 14, 2014 4:28 PM   Subscribe

In honor of the 10 year anniversary of Garden State, we explore some alternative soundtracks to that infamous "this song will change your life" scene, featuring the aforelinked Spin Doctors (#1) and Katy Perry (#2) as well as such musical luminaries as posted by ch1x0r (69 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Raôul Duguay FTW!
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 4:45 PM on August 14, 2014


I'm getting a "This video is not available in your country." message for all of these. :/

However, a related Nothing Nice to Say comic
posted by bigendian at 4:50 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Garden State was a simultaneous superposition of twee and terrible, and kind and heartfelt. I still remember that scene kindly.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:53 PM on August 14, 2014


Someone should code up one of those "make your own" things with that wrapper.

Then I could put some *really* interesting songs in there! (I'm sure we all could...haha).

^_^
posted by CrowGoat at 5:03 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


They totally chose the wrong Katy Perry song.
posted by psoas at 5:07 PM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


This was never a good movie. But the singing dogs one would have massively improved my opinion of Portman's character in the film.
posted by damehex at 5:14 PM on August 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


I vote #7. It just works, and the effect when the shot goes back to Natalie Portman is the funniest of the bunch
posted by Hoopo at 5:15 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


needs more Throbbing Gristle
posted by philip-random at 5:20 PM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Uh. What was the song originally?
posted by koeselitz at 5:33 PM on August 14, 2014


Ah, the Shins. Somehow that's underwhelming now having heard all these alternative versions.
posted by koeselitz at 5:37 PM on August 14, 2014


It was The Shins. Original video.

My favorite version is #10. Heh.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 5:39 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Noel Wells, formerly of SNL, did a similar parody in Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 5:41 PM on August 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Singing dogs, is perfect.
posted by oddman at 5:42 PM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


I've never understood why people had to get their hate on about this movie or its soundtrack. Fine if you don't like it, but it is almost as though some go out of their way to express that emotion to look cool. It usually feels like a forced hatred, one built upon "your favorite band sucks" more than anything.

Far from a perfect movie, it is also far from a bad movie. Having an 86% (critic) and 88% (audience) rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.6 on IMDB, it rates pretty well. Even Pitchfork gave the soundtrack a 7.0 (which is pretty good as goes Pitchfork ratings) even though you'd think they were too cool to like it if you were to read recent articles such as the slam piece against the Braff follow-up, "Wish I Was Here." Fine to critique and dislike, but man...

I think the brilliance of these videos is made better if you are neutral to liking the movie and that particular Shins song. All the better to see Portman turn into a scary psychotic woman with creepy eyes during #1, the Spin Doctors clip - which, I realize, is probably based on the same "your favorite band sucks" judgmental BS about the Spin Doctors that I am pointing out about Garden State. However, if you can't judge the Spin Doctors 20 years later, what can you judge.
posted by Muddler at 5:47 PM on August 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


When I saw MC Hammer on the list, I thought to myself "If this isn't the Addams Family song, I will be sorely disappointed." I was not sorely disappointed.
posted by mhum at 5:58 PM on August 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


It is a bad movie, and people hate it because it is soulless. There's no real emotion involved; it's a cynically calculated set of indie cliches and signifiers with absolutely nothing underneath.

The fact that some critics bought it does nothing to lesson the very real dislike and anger those who like real art feel when they see something so fake, hollow and calculated. It's to "indie" films what Michael Bay's work is to blockbusters.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:09 PM on August 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


Also, I always wanted to start an indie band called The Life that sang about the importance of proper footwear for lower leg health.

"You know this band The Life? They'll change your shins."
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:12 PM on August 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


Didn't we just have a post about how Garden State is Hitler in movie form?

I can't even keep up with what I'm supposed to hate any more.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:14 PM on August 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


I liked that movie and its soundtrack. Two of the songs from the soundtrack were used specifically on my wedding day.

Sure, my favorite band sucks. I'm OK with that. :)
posted by jillithd at 6:16 PM on August 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Two of the songs from the soundtrack were used specifically on my wedding day.

Blue Eyes and Such Great Heights?
posted by pokermonk at 6:26 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is this movie about to get remade or something? Until a few months ago I'd never even heard of it before (despite having heard about manic pixie dream girls), and now it seems to be a popular topic everywhere.
posted by Bugbread at 6:28 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I watched the movie in college and cried buckets. Then I burned the soundtrack and listened to it religiously in my Sony Walkman for several years (so many angsty jogging sessions and FEELING THE MUSIC and LIFE!).

I am able to both cherish the memory of my youthful love for the movie and to be annoyed by its tropes and general saccharine-ness as a wizened 30-something. I'd be afraid to break out the soundtrack for fear that I'd be transported back to my hormone-ridden college years.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 6:32 PM on August 14, 2014


I will go on record as saying I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, particularly Ian Holm, as well as the soundtrack. I still find the series of incongruous songs hilarious, though.

Please do this for the Boombox scene in "Say Anything" and the Beta Band single moment in "High Fidelity."
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:35 PM on August 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Is this movie about to get remade or something?

More or less. Braff has a new movie coming out soon (or maybe it's already out).
posted by kenko at 6:46 PM on August 14, 2014


For the record, I think New Slang is a lovely song, and I bought Oh, Inverted World after seeing this movie. It didn't change my life, but no song ever has, strictly construed, except possibly Mayor of Simpleton, which got me interested in XTC, and which mutual interest led to my introduction to DiscourseMarker, my wife of nearly 16 years. #OldManShoutsAtCloud
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:48 PM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Blue Eyes and Such Great Heights?

Yup. Our musician friends learned the guitar part of Such Great Heights and played it for me walking down the aisle. Not exactly Pachelbel's Canon, but it was perfect for me.

How'd you guess?
posted by jillithd at 6:52 PM on August 14, 2014


Man, I loved Garden State. If you didn't watch it in 2004, then I think it makes sense that it might be cool to hate it. I dare not watch it now, lest the movie is ruined for me, but it was just perfect for 2004.

In 2004, Pitchfork was just becoming a thing. In 2004, Arcade Fire had just released their first album. In 2004, Wes Anderson had just come out with The Life Aquatic. In 2004, all the other twee movies like Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, 500 days of Summer weren't out yet. In 2004, mumblecore was barely a genre. In 2004, Elizabethtown, the movie for which the MPDG trope was invented, wasn't out yet. In 2004, the US had just invaded Iraq, and everyone was in confusion about what this meant, but it wasn't 2008 yet.
posted by suedehead at 6:57 PM on August 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


I dunno, I did watch it in 2004, the summer after I graduated from college, and it was a great experience, in a way: I was uncertain of my own critical powers, but was surprised by my conviction, when I was watching it, that it was obviously a "first movie", and full of aesthetic flaws, and basically not very good.
posted by kenko at 7:01 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


It is a bad movie, and people hate it because it is soulless. There's no real emotion involved; it's a cynically calculated set of indie cliches and signifiers with absolutely nothing underneath.

Yea i'm with you.

Me and a couple of my friends REALLY liked it when it came out. We were also all 13-14.

I rewatched it a couple years later and it felt like a completely forgetable cardboard failure with lots of tacked on "twee". I can't even watch it now because the MPDG thing just pokes me in the eye over and over. It feels like the early 2000s indie rock version of what "premium rush" was to hipster-y bike messengers, or something. As if an alien undergrad student who was a human studies major had been assigned to write an extra long creative writing project with the prompt being that subculture, and had tried to pack in as many details someone who completely didn't get it at all(IE: hollywood, essentially always) could to try and show they really "got it".

I've always wanted to make a list of movies that do this, but this was the first one i remember really recognizing for what it was.

Also not really a fan of the "people only hate it because it seems cool to hate it" thing. Go defend something that deserves it. People hate this, and fight club, and all the other shitty movies from that late 90s/early 2000s era because they suck.
posted by emptythought at 7:09 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I nominate Dominick the Christmas Donkey.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:09 PM on August 14, 2014


The weirdest thing about Braff's new movie, at least as I recall from the preview which is all I've seen of it, is that one of the characters, his daughter (or one of his daughters), seem to look a lot like a young Natalie Portman.
posted by kenko at 7:12 PM on August 14, 2014


Well, that and the fact that Mandy Patinkin is in it. Maybe he's hard up or something.
posted by kenko at 7:12 PM on August 14, 2014


I didn't see Garden state, and I don't keep up with new music, and apparently haven't in well over a decade. But because of this post, and a spark of recognition, and a few minutes of youtube sleuthing, I've figured out that that one song that I used to hear in this one coffee shop, and really, really liked, turns out to be The Shins' Phantom Limb.

So, thanks!

Now someone identify that one other song that sounds like combination of Mo-Town and Bach. No I don't know any of the words.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:12 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Go defend something that deserves it. People hate this, and fight club, and all the other shitty movies from that late 90s/early 2000s era because they suck.

Ah, you see, if you're defending something that 'deserves it', then that's not defending. That's called 'jumping onto the winning side'.

I'll stand here and defend the shitty little castle of 'Garden State' against a strong, attacking army, thank you very much.
posted by suedehead at 7:16 PM on August 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Now someone identify that one other song that sounds like combination of Mo-Town and Bach. No I don't know any of the words.
"A Whiter Shade Of Pale" by Procol Harum.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:18 PM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Now someone identify that one other song that sounds like combination of Mo-Town and Bach.

A Lover's Concerto (How Gentle is the Rain) is literally that song.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:22 PM on August 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


emptythought: "Go defend something that deserves it. People hate this, and fight club, and all the other shitty movies from that late 90s/early 2000s era because they suck."

Seriously. I mean, I love Fight Club. I've watched it multiple times. But I know it sucks, because on my Panasonic QualityMeter it reads between 7 and 10 QDs. Sure, I may love the movie, but because quality is objective and can be measured, I realize that in reality, it must suck.
posted by Bugbread at 7:25 PM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Man, you know, there's a world of room between thinking quality can be measured like mass and thinking (as everyone who recoils from the first position seems to wind up thinking) that the only thing that you can say about a cultural product is that you do or don't like it.

Philosophical aesthetics otta be required in high school or something.
posted by kenko at 7:31 PM on August 14, 2014


Make everyone read "Of the Standard of Taste", the Third Critique, some Cavell, world would be a better place.
posted by kenko at 7:32 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


A Lover's Concerto (How Gentle is the Rain) is literally that song.

It is indeed -- thanks, Horace! And I didn't even have to burn an askme.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:34 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


But I know it sucks, because on my Panasonic QualityMeter it reads between 7 and 10 QDs.

Well Bugbread, it reads the same on my Panasonic QM also, but on my Samsung DudDetector it reads between 1 and 3 BDs, and on my Toshiba FantasticFinder it's between 4300 and 4400 FF-points. I've been looking for a solution on the internet to figure out how to triangulate between all three answers, but luckily I've got a QualityMeterMeter coming in the mail, so hopefully I'll be able to figure out which of my detectors is actually accurate. Someone called Bourdieu44 on a forum told me that there are many different meters and that I should just use whichever one I need for the appropriate purpose.
posted by suedehead at 7:41 PM on August 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


kenko: "that the only thing that you can say about a cultural product is that you do or don't like it."

Good thing nobody said that, then.
posted by Bugbread at 7:42 PM on August 14, 2014


I saw it back in 2004 and hated it - I would self-link to my rant about Garden State ruining angst and indie music, but it was on LiveJournal because that's how hating things worked back then.
posted by betweenthebars at 7:42 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]




I was really hoping for a Piña Colada song version of this.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:52 PM on August 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


I saw it back in 2004 and hated it - I would self-link to my rant about Garden State ruining angst and indie music, but it was on LiveJournal because that's how hating things worked back then.

Hated Garden State before it was cool.
posted by dry white toast at 8:58 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


People still read Pitchfork in 2004? I've been on the Internet for too long; I had completely dismissed that site by then.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:10 PM on August 14, 2014


Garden state was a movie by a sorta self absorbed 20-something about a self absorbed 20-something feeling depressed and empty for being a self-absorbed 20-something and it appealed to contemporaneous self-absorbed 20-somethings like myself because we could sorta relate at the time. Not saying it was great but some people will look back fondly on it because of that. I mean we can be all cynical about this I guess, but I think it was a pretty earnest movie. It wasn't a totally inaccurate portrayal of a seemingly endless and inescapable boring suburban experience. A lot of people miserable and feeling pretty hopeless at that age and if that's something to mock I'm not really seeing it.
posted by Hoopo at 9:14 PM on August 14, 2014


Please do this for...the Beta Band single moment in "High Fidelity."

The problem is that Rob says in that scene "I will now sell five copies of Three EPs by the Beta Band" before he puts it on.

See here.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 9:44 PM on August 14, 2014


The problem is that Rob says in that scene "I will now sell five copies of Three EPs by the Beta Band" before he puts it on.

I recognize this. The thing is, The Beta Band is obscure enough that Rob could put on any song and tell the guy who asks about it that its The Beta Band.

"I'm now going to sell five copies of Three EPs by the Beta Band."

*puts on "Baby Got Back"*

"Who is that?"

"The Beta Band."
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:48 PM on August 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


Also, there's cut in this scene that will now drive me insane. There's an over the shoulder shot of Portman, and you see Braff nod to her and smile, and then it cuts to a shot of Braff, and he's stoic as a turn-of-the-century photograph. Now that I've noticed it, I can never un-notice it.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 9:49 PM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


In 2004, the US had just invaded Iraq, and everyone was in confusion about what this meant,

I wasn't in any confusion about what the Iraq thing meant. I didn't much like Garden State. A generalized annoyance that pitched further and further toward hate as more and more people I knew got all sloppy about it.

But I still keep New Slang in my EZ-dinner playlist. No point in dumping it with the slimy bathwater.
posted by philip-random at 9:50 PM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hoopo: "I vote #7. It just works, and the effect when the shot goes back to Natalie Portman is the funniest of the bunch"

To be 100% honest, if I'd made it to 2004 without knowing that the 1985 Chicago Bears had rapped about how great they were, hearing it would have almost certainly literally changed my life in some very real and important ways, so Natalie would have been meet and right so to do.
posted by Copronymus at 10:04 PM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


There's no real emotion involved

I have to disagree here, it's just that the emotion it gets across well is depression. Not that the movie is depressing, but it got across what it's really like to be depressed. It's not an over dramatic representation, but a good showing of that numb, can't find a point in anything, so you just do whatever, that i have experienced way too often.
posted by usagizero at 10:37 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


enjoymoreradio: this. bad continuity.
posted by flippant at 3:02 AM on August 15, 2014


I think people hate it because they're offended by the idea of having so few problems that a single song would change your life.
It's Reality Bites or St Elmo's Fire for the 21st Century.
One-Percenters have depression too, we just don't care.
posted by fullerine at 3:36 AM on August 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Good thing nobody said that, then.

Huh, that's weird, some comments certainly look like thy do.

There seems to be this pervasive idea that basically saying, in one way or another, "I don't like it" is the summation of what their critical faculties could come up with because of a lacking in artistic integrity of the product. Which is completely wrong and backwards. Critical analyses of shallow art should be easier, not harder. Flaws are glaring and easier to point out and talk about.
"I don't like it" says nothing except just that. I hate some films and I could talk in detail about how the plot and thematic elements support that. There are films I just don't enjoy, but I don't sit around trying to fool myself into thinking something like 'it was a boring film' and 'I was bored' are the same thing. You really should be able to decently critique something if you have spent time trying to come to understand it through a critical eye.
If you don't have much to say other than "I don't like it" then that means you don't, or didn't care to, truly engage. Which is a perfectly fine position to take. But you should understand that's just a simple opinion and not some obvious point of truth others are missing. That's ridiculous.

You don't like something? Great, use your words if you think others should agree. Or don't and be okay with what others think.

My opinion? It's not bad. It reminds me of Clerks in that I like it for what it is and I think it was timely rather than timeless. It has a lot of cultural cache due to the relevancy of when it was released, and probably resonates mostly with white middle to upper class males. I think it's a well made film and a lot of people enjoy it simply because of that.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:25 AM on August 15, 2014


P.o.B.: "Huh, that's weird, some comments certainly look like thy do."

Which ones? I'm not seeing them, but maybe we're parsing some comments differently.
posted by Bugbread at 4:33 AM on August 15, 2014


Trying to think of songs that actually changed my life. I Zimbra. Holiday in Cambodia. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.
posted by whuppy at 4:54 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've never understood why people had to get their hate on about this movie or its soundtrack.

I have no strong opinion on the movie, but the thing about the Shins is that I somehow acquired that one album (Chutes Too Narrow I guess?) and for like three years it infected everything else I tried to listen to.

iTunes on random? Shins.
Genius mix of a different genre? Shins.
Any Pandora station I selected or created? Shins.

I AM STILL SO FUCKING TIRED OF "SAINT SIMON" and it's not even objectively a bad song.
posted by psoas at 5:04 AM on August 15, 2014


I'm not going to start calling people out. My comment isn't a call to arms over Garden State, and I really don't care to be drawn into that endeavor. But if you can't find at least a couple of comments in this thread that don't really amount to anything more than 'this was a bad movie' then yeah I'm not sure how you're parsing them.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:16 AM on August 15, 2014


I actually can't see that much difference between the original and most of the joke ones. Is this just this person's patented schtick? Because there are some much funnier juxtapositions to be made - the Grandstand theme; George Formby; The Ying-Tong Song; this; this; a particularly theatrical couple of porn performers; cows; a power drill; a recording of a tortured person begging for their life.
posted by Grangousier at 5:22 AM on August 15, 2014


In the movie, ZB is in his mid 20s, followed his dream of being an actor in Hollywood to star in only one thing with no interest in anything else. So, he's stuck in Hollywood pretending to be Southeast Asian as a waiter instead. He's struggling to live his dream and he can't and instead of a dream career, it seems more like his past. He's discouraged and humbled and bored and beaten and has no clear indication of where to go next.

Did that speak to me 10 years ago when I was stuck in a crappy job after a short stint in my dream career, with no clear path to go? Oh hells yes.

Does the disconnect with his high school friends now that he's had a few years away from them, each following their own divergent paths, speak to me? Yepperoo.

Still newly an adult, struggling with the figuring out your place in everything and how you are supposed to act as an adult even when you want to do stupid shit like get drunk and shoot arrows into the air and go on treasure hunts...
Running into such very "adult" things like porn hotels with peep holes that you naively never thought adults did when you were a kid...

And then top that off with the music that I hadn't really heard anywhere before. Our radio stations had oldies, pop, country, and rock. But The Shins? Where do The Shins fit in those four categories? "Change your life" can just mean opening your eyes to the not-so-mainstream shades of grey all around.

Now I'm waxing a little intellectual/sentimental. All of that said, I'm hesitant to go watch Garden State again just because it has been so many years and I am definitely NOT in the same place as I was ten years ago, just starting dating my now husband, before getting my masters degree, before starting a new job in my dream career, before becoming an old married career lady with a kid.
posted by jillithd at 6:58 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


This reminds me very much of the alternate soundtrack someone did for a pivotal scene in Equilibrium.
posted by savetheclocktower at 7:04 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


P.o.B.: "I'm not going to start calling people out. My comment isn't a call to arms over Garden State, and I really don't care to be drawn into that endeavor."

Yeah, I think we're in a triangle of misunderstanding here. I'm not trying to drag you into an endeavor, I just don't know who kenko is talking about. I can't see anyone that's doing what he's talking about. What you're talking about, yeah, I see a ton of those.

P.o.B.: " But if you can't find at least a couple of comments in this thread that don't really amount to anything more than 'this was a bad movie' then yeah I'm not sure how you're parsing them."

Yeah, I see lots of those comments. But those are objective quality statements. Kenko was talking about people who don't make objective quality statements, saying that they didn't believe in making any other arguments either, just "like/don't like". Those are the people I haven't seen in this thread. The "good/bad" people, there are a ton of. But I haven't seen any of the folks kenko was talking about, people taking the position that "There is no good/bad. All there is is like/no-like. Nothing else". In fact, the only "there is no 'good/bad'" people I've seen so far are myself and, I think, Suedehead, and neither of us said anything like that.
posted by Bugbread at 8:53 AM on August 15, 2014


Wait, which one of these is "My Humps?"

It really will change your life...
posted by Naberius at 9:06 AM on August 15, 2014


Well, to be honest, Bugbread, I was provoked, probably unjustifiably, by your comment, which seemed to suggest that the only way the people saying that (e.g.) Fight Club was a bad movie could be correct or could support that statement is if there really were a Quality-Meter, and that since there (obviously) isn't, all they could be saying was "I don't like this". I mmmmmmay have read something into your comment! Maybe. I will wave my hands at shadowy other people who start as you started and do, more or less explicitly, basically think you can only say "I do/don't like it".
posted by kenko at 12:44 PM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wait, which one of these is "My Humps?"

It is with great sorrow that I report the greatest and most excellent version of "My Humps" is apparently gone from the Internet. Otherwise, I would have shared it with you in response to your question.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:37 PM on August 15, 2014


someone identify that one other song that sounds like combination of Mo-Town and Bach. No I don't know any of the words.


Vampire Weekend. Step.
posted by asockpuppet at 7:15 AM on August 16, 2014


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